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British Lung Foundation
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Apart from the pain can back problems impede breathing?

To everyone that attempted to answer my question about swallowing sputum I'd like to say thank you. I will continue using the tissue and not swallowing it.

I have another question: Can back pain impede your breathing. Background is I have a suspected trapped nerve in the Thoracic Spine. The pain I get in that area is like a tearing/burning sensation. However I get very painful stabbing sensations in my left scapula area, down my left arm nearly to the elbow and across my left chest to my sternum. In fact it feels as though something is being pushed from my spine and shoulder right through my chest. When I walk I have to sit down every 5 - 10 mins against something with a back rest and that relieves the pain almost fully. I also have surface numbness in the shoulder, arm and chest. I had an MRI Scan on Saturday and just awaiting the result.

It does effect my breathing in the sense that it is so painful, until I sit. My question is can it have a deeper impact on my lungs.

4 Replies

I don't think I am qualified to give an an solution to this condition but. such widespread pain must affect the lungs. Pain causes tension in the muscles which affect the rest of the body. I think you should consult your GP and ask for a muscle relaxant. Certainly you need an answer which I am not qualified to give.


A Think It Would .... As Signals Travel Down Your Spine To Each And Every Part Of Your Body .... Given Your Problems It Would Not Be Unreasonable To Assume It Would I Have Inverted L5 And Pain Was Unbelievable As You Described But Down My Leg And Ass

A Would See Doc Might Have Lung Or Pleura Infection And If You Get Jaw Ache Be On Safe Side See Doc Or Go Hospital


I have recurring back pain and was told by a specialist nurse re chest conditions that back pain does have an effect on breathing problems. He did show me a diagram to explain but I have now forgotten it.Joyce


I too have the same pain in my back also have skin tenderness &numb feet with stinging sore toes had mri scan 15 months ago I had operation to remove arachnoid cyst that was compressing my spine my feet were back to normal.sadly only lasted 6 weaks all symptoms had returned.nothing more can be done so have just to get on with it.


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